KR100917699B1 - Gallium nitride based diodes with low forward voltage and low reverse current operation - Google Patents

Gallium nitride based diodes with low forward voltage and low reverse current operation Download PDF

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KR100917699B1
KR100917699B1 KR20047001033A KR20047001033A KR100917699B1 KR 100917699 B1 KR100917699 B1 KR 100917699B1 KR 20047001033 A KR20047001033 A KR 20047001033A KR 20047001033 A KR20047001033 A KR 20047001033A KR 100917699 B1 KR100917699 B1 KR 100917699B1
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KR20040030849A (en
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미쉬라우메쉬
파릭크프리미트
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크리, 인코포레이티드
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    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01LSEMICONDUCTOR DEVICES; ELECTRIC SOLID STATE DEVICES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • H01L29/00Semiconductor devices adapted for rectifying, amplifying, oscillating or switching, or capacitors or resistors with at least one potential-jump barrier or surface barrier, e.g. PN junction depletion layer or carrier concentration layer; Details of semiconductor bodies or of electrodes thereof; Multistep manufacturing processes therefor
    • H01L29/40Electrodes ; Multistep manufacturing processes therefor
    • H01L29/43Electrodes ; Multistep manufacturing processes therefor characterised by the materials of which they are formed
    • H01L29/47Schottky barrier electrodes
    • H01L29/475Schottky barrier electrodes on AIII-BV compounds
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01LSEMICONDUCTOR DEVICES; ELECTRIC SOLID STATE DEVICES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • H01L29/00Semiconductor devices adapted for rectifying, amplifying, oscillating or switching, or capacitors or resistors with at least one potential-jump barrier or surface barrier, e.g. PN junction depletion layer or carrier concentration layer; Details of semiconductor bodies or of electrodes thereof; Multistep manufacturing processes therefor
    • H01L29/66Types of semiconductor device ; Multistep manufacturing processes therefor
    • H01L29/86Types of semiconductor device ; Multistep manufacturing processes therefor controllable only by variation of the electric current supplied, or only the electric potential applied, to one or more of the electrodes carrying the current to be rectified, amplified, oscillated or switched
    • H01L29/861Diodes
    • H01L29/872Schottky diodes
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01LSEMICONDUCTOR DEVICES; ELECTRIC SOLID STATE DEVICES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • H01L29/00Semiconductor devices adapted for rectifying, amplifying, oscillating or switching, or capacitors or resistors with at least one potential-jump barrier or surface barrier, e.g. PN junction depletion layer or carrier concentration layer; Details of semiconductor bodies or of electrodes thereof; Multistep manufacturing processes therefor
    • H01L29/66Types of semiconductor device ; Multistep manufacturing processes therefor
    • H01L29/86Types of semiconductor device ; Multistep manufacturing processes therefor controllable only by variation of the electric current supplied, or only the electric potential applied, to one or more of the electrodes carrying the current to be rectified, amplified, oscillated or switched
    • H01L29/861Diodes
    • H01L29/88Tunnel-effect diodes
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01LSEMICONDUCTOR DEVICES; ELECTRIC SOLID STATE DEVICES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • H01L29/00Semiconductor devices adapted for rectifying, amplifying, oscillating or switching, or capacitors or resistors with at least one potential-jump barrier or surface barrier, e.g. PN junction depletion layer or carrier concentration layer; Details of semiconductor bodies or of electrodes thereof; Multistep manufacturing processes therefor
    • H01L29/02Semiconductor bodies ; Multistep manufacturing processes therefor
    • H01L29/12Semiconductor bodies ; Multistep manufacturing processes therefor characterised by the materials of which they are formed
    • H01L29/20Semiconductor bodies ; Multistep manufacturing processes therefor characterised by the materials of which they are formed including, apart from doping materials or other impurities, only AIIIBV compounds
    • H01L29/2003Nitride compounds

Abstract

A novel group 3 diode is disclosed having a structure in which the voltage V f in the on state is low and the reverse current I rev is kept relatively low. One embodiment of the invention is a Schottky barrier diode 10 made of a GaN material system in which the Fermi level (or surface potential) is not fixed. The barrier potential 33 of the metal-to-semiconductor junction varies with the type of metal 16 used, and using a particular metal lowers the Schottky barrier potential 33 of the diode, resulting in a range of V f of 0.1 to 0.3. It becomes V. In another embodiment 40, a trench structure 45 is formed on the semiconductor material 44 of the Schottky diode to reduce reverse leakage currents, the trench structures being parallel and spaced apart at a plurality of trenches 46. There is a mesa zone (49) between adjacent trenches (46). The third embodiment of the present invention provides a GaN tunnel diode having a low V f by tunneling electrons passing through the barrier potential rather than over the barrier potential 81. Embodiments of tunnel diode 120 may also include trench structures 121 that reduce reverse leakage current.

Description

Group III nitride-based diodes {GALLIUM NITRIDE BASED DIODES WITH LOW FORWARD VOLTAGE AND LOW REVERSE CURRENT OPERATION}

The present invention relates to a diode, and more particularly to a gallium nitride (GaN) -based diode with improved forward voltage and reverse leakage current characteristics.

Diode rectifiers are one of the most widely used devices for low voltage switching, power supplies, power converters and related applications. For efficient operation, it is desired that the diode have a low on-state voltage (0.1 to 0.2 V or less), low reverse leakage current, high voltage breaking capacity (20 to 30 V) and high switching speed. .

The most common diodes are pn junction diodes made of silicon (Si) and introducing impurity elements to alter the diode's operating characteristics in a controlled manner. The diode may also be formed of other semiconductor materials such as gallium arsenide (GaAs) and silicon carbide (SiC). One disadvantage of a junction diode is that the power loss of the diode can be excessive to increase the current flow during the forward conduction.

Schottky barrier diodes are a special type of diode rectifier consisting of a rectifying metal to semiconductor barrier region instead of a pn junction. When the metal is in contact with the semiconductor, a barrier zone is formed at the junction between the two. When properly fabricated, barrier zones improve diode switching by minimizing the effect of electricity storage and shortening the turn-off time (LP Hunter, Physics of Semiconductor Materials, Devices, and Circuits , Semiconductor Devices, 1970). Typical Schottky diodes have a lower turn-on voltage (approximately 0.5 V) than pn junction diodes, so the energy loss of the diode is highly desirable in applications where there is a significant system impact (eg, output rectifiers of switching power supplies).

One way to reduce the on-state voltage below 0.5 V in conventional Schottky diodes is to reduce its surface barrier potential. However, this leads to an increase in the reverse leakage current and to conflict. In addition, the reduced barrier degrades high temperature operation, resulting in ductile fracture properties under reverse bias operation.

Schottky diodes are also typically made of GaAs, one disadvantage of which is that the Fermi level (or surface potential) is fixed or fixed at approximately 0.7V. As a result, the forward voltage V f in the on state is fixed. Regardless of the type of metal used to contact the semiconductor, the surface potential cannot be reduced to lower V f .

Recently, silicon-based Schottky rectifier diodes with slightly lower V f have been developed [IXYS Corporation, Silicon-based Power Schottky Rectifiers, Part No. DSS 20-0015B; International Rectifier, Silicone Schottky Rectifier, Part No. 11DQ09. The Schottky barrier surface potential of these devices is approximately 0.4 V and the lower limit of V f is approximately 0.3 to 0.4 V. For practical purposes, the lowest Schottky barrier potential achievable is approximately 0.4 V and regular metallization uses titanium. As a result, V f is approximately 0.25 V and the current density is 100 A / cm 2 .

Other hybrid structures have been reported with V f of approximately 0.25 V (barrier height of 0.58 V) and operating current density of 100 A / cm 2 [M. Mehrotra, BJ Baliga, "The Trench MOS Barrier Shottky (TMBS) Rectifier", International Electron Device Meeting, 1993]. One such configuration is a junction barrier controlled Schottky rectifier with a pn junction that is used to tailor the electric field to reverse leakage minimization. Another device is a trench MOS barrier rectifier that is used to tailor trench and MOS barrier operation to the electric field profile. One disadvantage of this device is the introduction of capacitance by the pn junction. In addition, the pn junction has some difficulty in fabricating a group III nitride based device.

Gallium nitride (GaN) material systems have been used in optoelectronic devices such as high efficiency blue and green LEDs and lasers, and in electronic devices such as high power microwave transistors. GaN has a wide direct bandgap of 3.4 eV, high electron velocity (2 × 10 7 cm / s), high breakdown electric field (2 × 10 6 V / cm) and the availability of heterostructures.

The present invention provides a novel group III nitride based diode having a low V f . The novel diode also includes a structure that keeps the reverse current I rev relatively low.

The novel diode is preferably formed of a GaN material system, unlike conventional diodes made of a material such as GaAs, and the Fermi level (or surface potential) of GaN is not fixed in its surface state. In GaN Schottky diodes, the barrier height at the metal to semiconductor junction varies depending on the type of metal used. The use of certain metals reduces the Schottky barrier height of the diode, resulting in a range of V f from 0.1 to 0.3 V.

The novel GaN Schottky diodes generally comprise an n + GaN layer on a substrate and an n− GaN layer on an n + GaN layer opposite the substrate. The resistive metal contact is included on the n + GaN layer, isolated from the n- GaN layer, and a Schottky metal layer is included on the n- GaN layer. The signal to be rectified is applied to the diode across the Schottky metal and the resistive metal contact. If a Schottky metal is deposited on the n-GaN layer, a barrier potential is formed at the surface of n-GaN between them. The Schottky metal layer has a predetermined work function, which determines the height of the barrier potential.

Using a metal that reduces the Schottky barrier potential lowers V f , but may also undesirably increase I rev . A second embodiment of the present invention reduces the I rev by including a trench structure on the diode surface. This structure prevents an increase in the field when the new diode is in reverse bias. As a result, the Schottky barrier potential is lowered, helping to reduce I rev .

The trench structure is preferably formed on the n-GaN layer and includes a plurality of parallel trenches spaced at equal intervals, with mesa zones between adjacent trenches. Each trench includes an insulating layer on its sidewalls and bottom surface. A continuous Schottky metal layer is over the trench structure and covers the insulating layer and mesa between the trenches. Alternatively, the sidewalls and bottom surfaces of each trench may be covered by metal instead of insulators, the metal being electrically isolated from the Schottky metal. The mesa zone has a predetermined doping concentration and width selected to produce a desired redistribution of the electric field under metal-semiconductor contact.

A third embodiment of the present invention provides a GaN tunnel diode having a low V f , which is formed by tunneling electrons through the barrier potential, not above the barrier potential. This embodiment has a substrate in which an n + GaN layer is sandwiched between the substrate and the n− GaN layer. An AlGaN barrier layer is included on the n− GaN layer on the opposite side of the n + GaN layer. The resistive contact is included on the n + GaN layer and the top contact is included on the AlGaN layer. The signal to be rectified is applied across the resistance contact and the top contact.

The barrier layer structure maximizes the possibility of forward tunneling, but due to the different thickness and Al mole fraction of the barrier layer, the forward and reverse operating characteristics are different. At certain thicknesses and Al mole fractions, the diode has a low V f and a low I rev . Using thicker barrier layers and / or increasing the Al molar concentration, V f is reduced and I rev is increased. If the thickness or mole fraction is further increased, the new diodes exhibit resistive operating characteristics or become conventional Schottky diodes.

These and other additional features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art from the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

1 is a cross-sectional view of a GaN Schottky diode of the present invention.

2 is a diagram showing the work function of a typical metal versus its atomic number.

3 is a band diagram of the diode shown in FIG. 1;

4 is a cross-sectional view of another embodiment of the GaN Schottky diode of FIG. 1 with a trench structure to reduce reverse current leakage.

5 is a cross-sectional view of a tunnel diode embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 6 is a band diagram of the tunnel diode of FIG. 5 with a barrier layer having a thickness of 22 kHz and an Al mole fraction of 30%.

FIG. 7 is a diagram showing the voltage / current characteristics of the novel tunnel diode having the band diagram of FIG. 6.

FIG. 8 is a band diagram of the tunnel diode of FIG. 5 with a barrier layer having a thickness of 30 Hz and an Al mole fraction of 30%.

9 is a diagram showing the voltage / current characteristics of the novel tunnel diode with the band diagram of FIG.

FIG. 10 is a band diagram of the tunnel diode of FIG. 5 with a barrier layer having a thickness of 38 Hz and an Al mole fraction of 30%.

FIG. 11 is a diagram showing the voltage / current characteristics of the novel tunnel diode with the band diagram of FIG. 10. FIG.

12 is a cross-sectional view of a tunnel diode embodiment of the present invention having a trench structure that reduces reverse current leakage.

1 shows a Schottky diode 10 constructed in accordance with the present invention with reduced metal to semiconductor barrier potential. The novel diodes are formed of group III nitride based materials or other materials where the Fermi level is not fixed in the surface state. The group III nitride refers to a semiconductor compound formed between nitrogen and group III elements of the periodic table, usually aluminum (Al), gallium (Ga) and indium (In). The term also refers to tertiary compounds and tertiary compounds such as AlGaN and AlInGaN. Preferred materials for the novel diodes are GaN and AlGaN.

The novel diode 10 includes a substrate, which may be sapphire (Al 2 O 3 ), silicon (Si) or silicon carbide (SiC), with the preferred substrate being a 4H polytype of silicon carbide. Other silicon carbide polytypes can also be used, including 3C, 6H, and 15R polytypes. An Al x Ga 1-x N buffer layer 12 (where x is between 0 and 1) is included over the substrate 11 to provide a suitable crystal structure transition between the remainder and the silicon carbide substrate of the diode 10.

Silicon carbide is much more closely crystal lattice matched to group III nitrides than sapphire, further improving the quality of group III nitride films. Silicon carbide is also very high in thermal conductivity so that the overall output of a group III nitride device on silicon carbide is not limited by the heat dissipation of the substrate (as some devices are formed on sapphire). In addition, the availability of silicon carbide substrates provides reduced parasitic capacity and device isolation capacity that makes it possible to manufacture commercial devices. SiC substrates are available from Cree Research, Inc., Durham, NC, and methods of making such substrates are described in US Pat. 34,861, 4,946,547 and 5,200,022 are of course disclosed in the scientific literature.

The novel diode 10 comprises an n + GaN layer 12 on a substrate 11 and an n− GaN layer 13 on an n + GaN layer 12 opposite the substrate 11. The n + GaN layer 12 is highly doped to a concentration of at least 10 18 per centimeter cubed (cm 3 ), with a preferred concentration being 5 to 10 times this amount. The n-GaN layer 13 has a lower doping concentration but is still n-type, and the concentration of impurities is preferably in the range of 5 x 10 14 to 5 x 10 17 per cm 3 . The thickness of n-GaN layer 13 is preferably 0.5 to 1 micron and the thickness of n + GaN layer 12 is 0.1 to 0.5 micron, although other thicknesses are also used.

A portion of the n− GaN layer 13 is etched down toward the n + GaN layer so that the resistive metal contacts 14a and 14b are included on the n + GaN layer in the etched region, so that these contacts are separated from the n− GaN layer 13. Electrically isolated. In a variation, one or more resistive contacts may be included on the substrate surface that are not covered by the n + GaN layer 12. This embodiment is particularly applicable to substrates that are n-type. The Schottky metal layer 16 is included over the n− GaN layer 13 on the opposite side of the n + GaN layer 12.

The work function of the metal is the energy required for electrons to escape from the metal in a vacuum, and the Fermi level of the material is the energy level with a 50% chance of finding a charged carrier. The electron affinity of a semiconductor is the difference between its vacuum energy level and conductive band energy level.

As described above, since the surface Fermi level of GaN is not fixed, the barrier potential is different due to the Schottky metal having a different work function. The barrier potential is approximated by the following equation.

Barrier Height = Work Function-Semiconductor's Electron Affinity

FIG. 2 is a graph 20 showing the metal work function 21 of several metal surfaces versus the number of atoms 22 of a particular metal in vacuum. The metal should be chosen such that the Schottky barrier potential and V f are low, but high enough to keep the reverse current low. For example, if a metal having a work function equal to the electron affinity of a semiconductor is selected, the barrier potential approaches zero. This causes V f to be close to zero and increases the reverse current of the diode, which in effect causes the diode to become resistive and not provide rectification.

Many different metals can be used to achieve low barrier heights, with preferred metals being Ti (work function of 4.6) (23), Cr (4.7) (24), Nb (4.3) (25), Sn (4.4) ( 26), W (4.6) 27 and Ta (4.3) 28. Cr 24 has an acceptable barrier potential and is also easy to deposit by conventional methods.

Figure 3 shows a typical band diagram 30 of a novel Schottky barrier diode taken at the vertical line through the diode. In this figure, the energy level of the Schottky metal 31, the GaN semiconductor layer 32 and the Schottky potential 33 are shown.

Prior to the contact of the GaN semiconductor material with the Schottky metal, these two Fermi energy levels are not the same. When contact is made and the two materials are in a single thermodynamic system, the thermodynamic system has a single Fermi level. This is accomplished by electron flow from the semiconductor material with the higher Fermi level to the Schottky metal with the lower Fermi level. The electrons of the semiconductor flow into the metal, and their energy is lowered. This causes the ionized donor level of the semiconductor to slightly exceed its number of free electrons so that the semiconductor has a pure anode. Electrons that flow from the semiconductor to the metal cause the metal to have a negative electrostatic charge. Therefore, the energy level of the semiconductor is lowered, and the energy level of the metal is raised. The surface charge of these electrons and the presence of unneutralized charge ionization donor levels in the semiconductor create a dipole layer that forms a barrier potential.

In operation, a signal to be rectified by the novel Schottky diode 10 is applied across the Schottky metal 14 and the resistive contacts 14a and 14b. Rectification of the signal is caused by the presence of a barrier potential at the n-GaN layer 13 surface that inhibits the flow of charged particles in the semiconductor. If the Schottky metal 16 is positive (forward bias) relative to the semiconductor, the energy of the barrier on the semiconductor side is raised. Then, more free electrons can flow into the metal on the conductive band. As the semiconductor side rises higher, more electrons are present in the energy above the barrier, so in the case of a large bias voltage, the entire distribution of free electrons in the semiconductor can cover the barrier. The voltage vs. current characteristic is in effect a resistor. The lower the barrier, the lower the V f required to cover the barrier.

However, as mentioned above, lowering the barrier level may also increase the reverse leakage current. When the semiconductor becomes positive (reverse bias) with respect to the metal, the semiconductor side of the barrier is lower than the metal side, so that electrons are free and flow over the top of the barrier without resistance to the semiconductor. The number of electrons present in the metal above the barrier is generally very small compared to the total number of electrons present in the semiconductor. The result is a very low current characteristic. If the voltage is large enough to block all flow of electrons, the current is saturated. The lower the barrier potential, the smaller the reverse bias needed to saturate the current.

4 shows another embodiment of a novel GaN Schottky diode 40 that addresses the problem of increasing the reverse current due to the reduced barrier height. Diode 40 is similar to the above embodiment with similar substrate 41, n + GaN layer 42, and resistive metal contacts 43a and 43b, and may alternatively be included on the surface of the substrate. The diode also has an n-GaN layer 44, but has a two-dimensional trench structure 45 that includes a trench 46 in the n-GaN layer instead of this flat layer. Preferred trench structures 45 are parallel and spaced apart, with mesa zones 49 maintained between adjacent trenches. Each trench 46 includes an insulating layer 47 covering its sidewalls 46a and bottom 46b. Many different materials can be used, with the preferred material being silicon carbide (SiN). A Schottky metal layer 48 is included over the entire trench structure 45 to sandwich the insulating layer between the Schottky metal and the trench sidewalls and bottom surface, covering the mesa region 49. The mesa region provides a direct contact area between the Schottky metal and the n-GaN layer 44. Alternatively, each trench may be covered by a metal instead of an insulator. In this embodiment, the Schottky metal must be insulated and / or separated from the trench metal.

Mesa zone 49 has a doping concentration and width selected to produce a redistribution of the electric field under mesa metal-semiconductor junction. As a result, the peak of the diode field is far from the Schottky barrier and is reduced in size. This reduces the barrier to be lowered by the increased reverse bias voltage, thereby preventing the reverse leakage current from increasing rapidly.

This redistribution occurs due to the charge of the mesa 49 and the coupling of the Schottky metal 48 and the trench sidewalls 46a and the bottom surface 46b on the top surface. Depletion then extends from both the top surface (like conventional Schottky rectifiers) and the trench sidewall 46a, depleting the conductive region from the sidewall. Sidewall depletion can be thought of as reducing the electric field below the Schottky metal layer 48 and also "reducing" the reverse leakage current. The trench structure 45 keeps the reverse leakage current relatively low, as well as lowering the barrier potential and V f .

Preferred trench structure 45 includes trench 46 that is one to two times the width of the Schottky barrier region. Thus, if the barrier region is 0.7 to 1.0 micron, the trench width may be in the range of 0.7 to 2 microns.

The diodes 10 and 40 are manufactured using known techniques. The n + GaN and n-GaN layers of the diode are deposited on the substrate by known deposition methods, including but not limited to metal-organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD). In the case of the diode 10, the n-GaN layer 13 is etched up to the n + GaN layer 12 by known etching methods such as chemically reactive ion etching (RIE) or ion mill etching. Schottky metal layers and resistive metal layers 14, 14b and 16 are formed on diode 10 by standard metallization techniques.

In the case of the diode 40, after depositing an n + GaN layer 42 and an n-GaN layer 44 on the substrate, the n-GaN layer 44 is etched by chemical or ion mill etching to form a trench 46. ). The n− GaN layer 44 is further etched up to the n + GaN layer 42 for the resistive metals 43a and 43b. Subsequently, a SiN insulating layer 47 is deposited on the entire trench structure 45 and the SiN insulating layer is viewed to expose the mesa 49. As a final step, a continuous Schottky metal layer 48 is formed over the trench structure 45 by standard metallization techniques, covering the insulating layer 47 and the exposed trench mesa 49. On the n + GaN layer 42, a resistive metal is also formed by standard metallization techniques. In an embodiment of the trench diode where the trench is covered by the metal, the metal may also be deposited by standard metallization techniques.

Tunnel diode

5 shows another embodiment of the novel diode in which V f is lowered as a result of electron tunneling through the barrier region under forward bias. By tunneling through the barrier, electrons do not have to cross the barrier by conventional thermal ion release over the barrier.

1 and 4, the novel tunnel diode 50 is formed from a group III nitride based material system, preferably formed of GaN, AlGaN or InGaN, but other material systems may also be used. Combinations of polar and non-polar materials can be used, including polar materials on polar materials and non-polar materials. Some examples of these materials include complex polar oxides such as strontium titanate, lithium niobate, lead zirconium titanate, and uncomplicated binary oxides such as zinc oxide. The material can be used on silicon or any silicon / dielectric stack as long as tunneling current is allowed.

The diode 50 comprises a substrate 51 composed of sapphire, silicon carbide (SiC) or silicon (Si), because of its upper profile SiC is the preferred material. There is an n + GaN layer 52 on the substrate, and an n− GaN layer 53 on the n + GaN layer 52 on the opposite side of the substrate 51. An AlGaN barrier layer 54 is included on the n− GaN layer opposite the n + GaN layer 52. At the edge of the diode 50, the barrier layer 54 and the n-GaN layer 53 are etched down to the n + GaN layer 52, so that the resistive metal contacts on the n + GaN layer 52 in this etched region. 55a and 55b are included. As in the above structures, a resistive contact may also be included on the surface of the substrate. A metal contact layer 56 is included on the AlGaN barrier layer 54 opposite the n-GaN layer 53. The signal to be rectified is applied across the resistive contacts 55a and 55b and the upper metal contact 56.

AlGaN barrier layer 54 serves as a tunnel barrier. Tunneling across the barrier is a quantum mechanical phenomenon, and the thickness and Al mole fraction of the AlGaN barrier layer 54 can be varied to maximize the possibility of forward tunneling. The AlGaN-GaN material system is formed under piezoelectric stress and becomes a piezoelectric dipole. Piezoelectric stresses and induced charges are generally increased by the barrier layer thickness. In forward bias, electrons from piezoelectric charges improve tunneling because the electrons can be used for conduction to increase the number of states where tunneling can occur. Thus, the novel tunnel diode may be made of another polar material showing this type of piezoelectric charge.

However, under reverse bias, the piezoelectric charge also causes the reverse leakage current to increase. As the barrier layer gets thicker or the Al mole fraction is increased, V f is lower but I rev is also increased. Thus, there is an optimal barrier layer for a particular Al mole fraction of the barrier layer to achieve low V f and relatively low I rev operating characteristics.

6-11 show the rectification characteristics of the novel diode for the three different thicknesses of the AlGaN barrier layer with 30% Al. For each thickness case, there is an energy band diagram and corresponding voltage versus current graph.

6 shows a band diagram of a tunnel diode 50 having a barrier layer 54 of 22 kHz thickness. 6 illustrates a typical barrier potential 61 at the junction between the barrier layer 63 and the n-GaN semiconductor layer 62. Top contact metal 64 is over barrier layer 63 on the opposite side of the semiconductor layer. FIG. 7 shows a graph 70 plotting the corresponding current versus voltage characteristics of the diode of FIG. 6. It has V f 71 and low reverse current I rev 72 of approximately 0.1V .

8 shows a band diagram of the same tunnel diode with a barrier layer of 30 kHz thickness. Increasing the barrier layer thickness increases the piezoelectric charge in the barrier zone, thereby improving tunneling across the barrier. This flattens the barrier potential 81 at the junction between the barrier layer 82 and the n-GaN layer 83. The charge does not have to overcome the barrier when forward bias is applied, greatly reducing the V f of the diode. However, the flattened barrier also causes the reverse leakage current I rev to be increased. 9 is a graph 90 showing V f 91 lower than V f in FIG. 7. In addition, I rev 92 is increased compared to I rev in FIG. 7.

FIG. 10 shows a band diagram 100 of the same tunnel diode with a 38 kHz thick barrier layer. Again, increasing the barrier layer thickness increases the piezoelectric charge. At this thickness, the barrier potential 101 between the barrier layer 102 and the n-GaN layer stretches downward near the junction between the barrier layer and the n-GaN layer, thereby preventing the barrier from charging at forward and reverse bias. Do not. 11 shows a graph 110 of corresponding current versus voltage characteristics. Diode 100 experiences immediate forward and reverse current in response to forward and reverse bias, such that the diode is effectively a resistor.

If the molar concentration of aluminum in the barrier layer is different, the thicknesses of the layers will be different to achieve the properties shown in FIGS. 6-11.

12 shows a novel tunneling diode 120 with a trench structure 121 that reduces reverse current. Like the Schottky diode 40, the trench structure includes a plurality of trenches 122 that are parallel and spaced apart, but in this diode the trenches comprise an AlGaN barrier layer 123 and an n-GaN layer 124. Through the n + GaN layer 125 (AP GaN template). There is a mesa zone 126 between adjacent trenches 122. The sidewalls and bottom surface of the trench include an insulating layer 127, and the upper Schottky metal layer 128 covers the entire trench structure 121. The trench structure acts in the same manner as the above embodiment, reducing the reverse current. It is useful for tunnel diodes having a barrier layer of a predetermined thickness that produces an immediate forward current in response to the forward voltage. By using the trench structure, the diode also improves reverse current leakage. In addition, as described above, the trench sidewalls and bottom surface may be covered by metal as long as it is isolated from the Schottky metal layer 128.

While the invention has been described in considerable detail with reference to certain preferred structures, other variations are possible. Accordingly, the spirit and scope of the appended claims should not be limited to the preferred changes described in the specification.

Claims (50)

  1. As a group III nitride diode,
    a GaN layer 42 doped with n +,
    An n-doped GaN layer 44 on the n + GaN layer 42,
    As a Schottky metal layer 48 over the n-doped GaN layer 44 and having a predetermined work function, the n- GaN layer 44 forms a junction with the Schottky metal layer 48 and the junction Schottky metal layer 48 having an energy level of barrier potential 33 that depends on the work function of Schottky metal layer 48,
    A trench structure 45 on the surface of the n-GaN layer 44, the trench structure 45 comprising a plurality of trenches covered with a metal layer having a larger work function than the Schottky metal layer, wherein the Schottky metal layer comprises a plurality of trenches; Covering Trench Structure (45)
    Wherein the diode is a reverse leakage current is generated under a reverse bias, the trench structure 45 is to reduce the amount of reverse leakage current group III nitride-based diode.
  2. The group III nitride based diode of claim 1, wherein the barrier potential (33) is dependent on the work function of the Schottky metal.
  3. The group III according to claim 1, wherein the n-doped GaN layer 44 has an electron affinity, and the barrier potential 33 is equal to a value of the Schottky metal minus the electron affinity. Nitride-based diodes.
  4. A group III nitride based diode according to claim 1, wherein said Schottky metal layer (48) is one of the metals of the group consisting of Ti, Cr, Nb, Sn, W and Ta.
  5. 2. The trench structure (45) of claim 1, wherein the trench structure (45) has a plurality of trenches (46), with mesa zones (49) between adjacent trenches (46), said trenches (46) being covered by said metal layer. A sidewall 46a and a bottom surface 46b, wherein the Schottky metal layer 48 covers the trench 46 and the mesa region 49, and the metal layer comprises a Schottky metal layer 48 and sidewalls 46a. And a III-nitride based diode sandwiched between the bottom surface 46b).
  6. A group III nitride based diode according to claim 5, wherein said metal layer is replaced by an insulating material (47).
  7. As a diode,
    A highly doped gallium nitride semiconductor material layer 42,
    A lower doped gallium nitride semiconductor material layer 44 adjacent the highly doped gallium nitride semiconductor material layer 42 and having an unfixed surface potential,
    As the Schottky metal layer 48 over the lower doped gallium nitride semiconductor material layer 44, the lower doped gallium nitride semiconductor material layer 44, together with the Schottky metal layer 48, A junction having an energy level of barrier potential 33 dependent on the type of 48), wherein the barrier potential is such that the diode operates as a low forward voltage diode, the diode having a reverse leakage current under reverse bias. Schottky metal layer 48 to be generated,
    Means for reducing the amount of reverse leakage current, the means comprising disposing a trench structure 45 over a surface of the lower doped gallium nitride semiconductor material layer 44, the trench structure being greater than the schottky metal layer. Means for reducing a reverse leakage current amount comprising a plurality of trenches covered with a metal layer having a large work function, wherein the Schottky metal layer covers the plurality of trenches
    The diode having.
  8. As a tunneling diode,
    n + doped layer 52,
    An n− doped layer 53 adjacent to the n + doped layer 52,
    A barrier layer 54 adjacent the n− doped layer 53 on the opposite side of the n + doped layer 52,
    A metal layer 56 over the barrier layer 54 on the opposite side of the n-doped layer 53, the n-doped layer 53 along with the barrier layer 54 a barrier potential 81. Metal layer 56, wherein the barrier potential is such that the on-state voltage of the diode is lowered as a result of electron tunneling through barrier potential 81 under forward bias.
    Tunneling diode having a.
  9. 9. The tunneling diode of claim 8, wherein said barrier layer (54) comprises a piezoelectric dipole that reduces the on-state voltage of the diode by enhancing electron tunneling.
  10. 10. The tunneling diode of claim 9, wherein the number of piezoelectric dipoles increases as the thickness of the barrier layer increases, but still allows tunneling current.
  11. 9. A tunneling diode according to claim 8, wherein the n + doped layer (52), the n- doped layer (53) and the barrier layer (54) comprise a polar material.
  12. 9. The n + doped layer 52, n-doped layer 53 and barrier layer 54 are complex polar oxides such as strontium titanate, lithium niobate, lead zirconium titanate or the like. A tunneling diode formed of a combination thereof.
  13. 9. A tunneling diode according to claim 8, wherein the n + doped layer (52), the n- doped layer (53) and the barrier layer (54) are formed of binary polar oxides such as zinc oxide.
  14. The semiconductor device of claim 8, further comprising a trench structure 121 in the barrier layer and the n-doped layers 123 and 124, wherein the diode generates a reverse leakage current under a reverse bias, and the trench structure 121. Is a tunneling diode to reduce the amount of reverse leakage current.
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